Being overly patient can be a form of procrastination, Mr President

first_imgDear Editor,We, the reading public, are being told a lot as to why there have been non-interference in the affairs of the Municipality, especially in Georgetown, and more precisely when it comes to the parking meter issues. Among the words used by His Excellency, our President doesn’t want to micromanage, the City Hall is an autonomous body, and that they should be allowed to function unimpeded.First of all, it might be good for the analysis to examine the word micromanage so as to determine what really is micromanaging, I am definitely not an expert of the definition of words, but from my layman point of view, no one in this dear land of ours could honestly accuse His Excellency of ever micromanaging, matter of fact, if one should ask me, he takes too long before he gets involved in matters that eventually affects the masses in a negative way and by then, it might be too late to salvage the ship so to speak, he gives his team members time to sort things out, but more often than not he has to come and clean up the mess.Micromanaging, to my mind and from the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is to “manage especially with excessive control or attention to details” and “to direct or conduct the activities of a group or an enterprise by micromanaging them” our President does not fit in here in the least, instead he has allowed things to run its course by insisting that autonomous bodies must be allowed to do their work without interference.Since His Excellency is not any of the above, then what would stop him from treating with a sense of urgency matters of bread and butter, not just for the affluent, but also for the bottom of the line citizen who might find themselves ignored, neglected or even rejected by autonomous bodies such as the Municipality, and of course we do have the case in question “parking meters”, the city Administrators went ahead hastily and unilaterally signed a contract without any survey, consultations or trying to ventilate what would be the reaction of the citizens and the business community in this now very volatile matter, why take so long before intervening in such a crucial matter that is affecting lives of his subjects?I know patience is virtue and the His Excellency is saturated with patience, but being overly patient can be a form of procrastination, during which things can deteriorate to a point of no return.Sincerely,Ivan Johnlast_img read more

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Button to deputise for Alonso in Monaco

first_img0Shares0000Pictured together in 2016, Jenson Button (L) and Fernando Alonso at Japanese GP © AFP/File / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURALONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 14 – Britain’s Jenson Button will come out of retirement for “one race only” to replace Fernando Alonso in a McLaren at next month’s Monaco Grand Prix, the Formula One team announced Friday.Alonso, like Button a former Formula One world champion, has been allowed to miss the race to compete instead for British-based McLaren at the Indianapolis 500, with both showpiece races taking place on May 28. “Owing to Fernando Alonso’s commitments with McLaren-Honda-Andretti over the weekend of the Indianapolis 500, which iconic race will take place on the same date (May 28th) as the Monaco Grand Prix, Jenson will take over Fernando’s McLaren-Honda MCL32 for one race only: the equally iconic Monaco Grand Prix,” said a team statement.Button, who had regarded the concluding race of the 2016 campaign in Abu Dhabi as the last of his 17-season career, will be one of McLaren’s two drivers at Monaco, with Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne in their other car.The 37-year-old Button remains under contract with McLaren, having agreed a two-year ambassadorial role with the team, but has yet to drive competitively this season.Button, however, won the Monaco Grand Prix, the most glamorous race in Formula One in 2009 — the same year he took the world title with the now defunct Brawn team.“I’m thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula One racing, and I couldn’t think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix of Monaco,” Button said in the McLaren statement.“I’ve won the race before, in 2009, and it’s one of my all-time favourite racetracks.“It’s a tricky street circuit on which a good driver can really make a difference and, although the McLaren-Honda hasn’t begun the season well, I think it may be more suited to Monaco than to the faster circuits that Fernando and Stoffel have raced it on so far this season.“I realise we won’t have a realistic chance of repeating my 2009 victory, but I think we’ll have a opportunity to score world championship points, which will be very valuable to the team in terms of constructors’ rankings.”– ‘Supremely fit’ –Meanwhile Button, the last driver to win a race for McLaren in 2012, insisted it would not take him long to get used to the feeling of being in the cockpit of a Formula One car once again.“I’m looking forward to pitting myself against the unique racing challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix,” he said.“I’ll drive the McLaren around Monaco in the simulator beforehand, and I reckon I’ll be ready for the race after doing that.“I’m supremely fit, having done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries on that score. And it’ll be nice to say ‘hi’ to all my old Formula One mates, too, and hopefully to give the fans something to cheer about.”When McLaren announced on Wednesday that 2005 and 2006 world champion Alonso would miss Monaco to race in Indianapolis, the Spaniard said it was because he wanted to emulate Graham Hill by becoming only the second driver after the late Briton to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of the Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and he Le Mans 24 hour sportscar race.But the Indy 500 may have looked even more tempting given McLaren are currently last in the Formula One constructors’ world championship after two races without a point.McLaren, the second most successful team in Formula One history after Ferrari, in terms of race wins, have struggled lately, with Japanese engine-supplier Honda under fire for the team’s poor results.Alonso, 35, is now in the final year of a three-season contract with McLaren.He joined in the hope of winning a third world title, but his best results with McLaren have been a trio of fifth-place finishes.The Formula One season continues with Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Picture it: You silently call 911

first_img“The LAPD realizes that technology is enabling citizens to be the eyes and ears for emergency responders,” LAPD analyst Karen Bottancino wrote in a report to the commission. But it’s still unclear how much such a system would cost, Riley said. Representatives from PowerPhone Inc., a Connecticut-based crisis communication company that specializes in 911 operators, said such systems run into the “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” “This provides more information to the 911 center but also to public-safety professionals,” said Greg Sheehan, a PowerPhone spokesman. “You are capturing stuff that may be used as evidence to solve a crime. It will inevitably come about.” But inside a crime lab at LAPD’s Parker Center, specialists who spend their days looking at crime-scene photos tell a different story. “The quality of images is not something that we can do much with,” said Oshin Noubarian, a supervisor at the LAPD’s Scientific Investigation Division’s photo lab. The lab gets about two cell-phone images a month, most brought by investigators who find pictures on a suspect’s camera. “The problem is they are low-resolution and generally unusable,” Noubarian said. Still, the possibility of receiving text messages or images from a crime scene gives cops yet one more window into a case. But there are kinks in the system. Until last November, the California Highway Patrol received all local 911 cell-phone calls. But at the urging of the Federal Communications Commission, those duties were handed over to the LAPD. Promising quicker response times, the LAPD unveiled a dispatch center where wireless calls may pop up on screens accompanied by a mapping system. But not all do. Many cell carriers don’t have access to the Global Positioning System or GPS, needed to associate calls with a location. That poses the biggest problem for officers responding to photo-only calls. Plus, there are hoaxes. “We need to make sure that we associate calls with a 911 event,” Riley said. “You have to be able to correlate it with a 911 call.” rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This can provide beneficial information to us, like a photo of a license plate, or a suspect in a video, or a text message of someone that is unable to talk,” said Tim Riley, who oversees 911 operators and who records and tracks radio for the LAPD. “It’s basically keeping up with technology.” It could take up to five years to implement a system that could handle text messages, video and photos for the nearly 2 million phone calls LAPD’s 911 dispatch center takes annually, Riley said. But a modified version could be up by the end of the year. The department is working with a private company to develop the right system. The L.A. Police Commission will discuss the preliminary plans today. If installed, the system could be the first of its kind in California, Riley said. Earlier this year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that his city is implementing a similar system. As technology improves, police nationwide are using cell images to crack crimes. In March 2006, a 15-year-old girl using her cell phone pictured the face of a New York subway flasher. In Seattle last year, a local newspaper reported that a cell-phone picture helped police catch a man suspected of assaulting two people. It happens every day at an L.A. restaurant, bank or liquor store: A gunman approaches the register, wields his weapon and demands cash. Helpless customers stand frozen, afraid to call 911 because hearing someone’s voice on the phone could trigger the robber’s ire. But now, the Los Angeles Police Department is looking at a system that could accept a cell-phone image taken at the scene of a crime. Snap and send. Or even text and send. No speaking necessary. In Los Angeles and around the country, police agencies are looking at cellular technology that is common in most teenagers’ lives to save lives. The idea is the same: Images communicate what’s happening in real time. last_img read more

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Pay me more than Kane! Barkley ‘demands £150,000-a-week to join Tottenham’

first_img Barkley has been left out of Everton’s pre-season friendly squads Ross Barkley is demanding Tottenham pay him £150,000-a-week, which would make him the highest paid player at the club. Star striker Harry Kane and captain Hugo Lloris both earn around £120,000-a-week, but Barkley is wants Spurs to break their wage structure to sign him. The north Londoners have refused to meet that demand and there is also a huge gap in Everton and Spurs’ valuation of the midfielder. The Toffees wants £50million for their England international while Tottenham value him at just £15m, according to the Mirror. Barkley has been left at home when the rest of Ronald Koeman’s squad jetted out to Tanzania – and he’s not in the squad for pre-season friendlies against FC Twente and Genk. Tottenham are the only club in the Premier League yet to sign a player this summer and will be hoping to add new faces with another season in the Champions League looming. 1last_img read more

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Creative quilters

first_img“I said you mean my kids have been working for five months on this quilt and there’s nowhere to put it?” said Hill, who later decided to enter it in the state fair. “I had figured they could easily win the \ county Fair, but suddenly I had to try not to get my hopes or the kids’ hopes up.” Hill said the quilt was on display for three weeks during the August fair in Sacramento but that results were not sent out until recently. Principal Richard Brown said the project utilized skills learned in school and is a favorite of the children’s school year. The quilt was also submitted with a notebook that documented their work, Brown said. “The project was part of their arts and crafts projects, but it was also tied into math and history,” Brown said. “They had to calculate how much material they needed and do the research. They each had their own square to work on. Then they sewed it together.” SANTA FE SPRINGS – Shocking even their teacher, a class of fourth-graders won first prize in the quilt-making category at the California State Fair in Sacramento this year. The 21-piece handmade quilt depicts the history of all of the missions in Southern California, using cut-out cloth and hand-drawn pictures. Tammy Hill, the class’s teacher, said out of the seven years she’s been doing quilt projects, this year was the first state-level competition her students had entered. Hill had planned on entering the quilt in the Los Angeles County Fair last year, as she did each year, but in March officials told her they did not have room for children’s work. The children were presented their awards Wednesday. Each received a ribbon as a teamwork recognition award. pam.wight@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Additional Attractions Open During Extra Evening Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

first_imgIn addition, select Food and Beverage locations and Merchandise options will be available, as well.Looks like it will be a good time to visit the park if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel and plan on visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Share This!©Rikki NiblettA while back, the news came out that from May 27 through July 4, Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be open for extra Evening Extra Magic Hours. Resort Guests would have the exclusive opportunity to be in the park from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. to enjoy the beauty and splendor that is Pandora – The World of Avatar at night.  Well, due to the expected heavy crowds, Disney has announced that a few more attractions will be open, in addition to the attractions found in Pandora.Guests will now also be able to experience the following attractions during these extra late night hours:Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden MountainPrimeval WhirlTriceraTop SpinFossil Fun GamesTree of Life awakeningsRivers of LightDiscovery Island Carnivalelast_img read more

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SA hands over new Timbuktu library

first_imgThe building was constructed, following a visit by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2001, to properly house the manuscripts in a bid to preserve Africa’s intellectual heritage. the physical conservation of the manuscripts and training of the Malian conservators; the creation of public awareness on the need to preserve the manuscripts and their importance as sources relating the true story of Mali and the surrounding regions. “While the script used in the manuscripts is Arabic, the languages contained therein include local languages such as Songhay, Fulfulde and others,” he said. the construction of the library and archives building to house the manuscripts and all services relating to the preservation, collection and accession of the manuscripts; and According to Chabane, the South Africa-Mali Timbuktu project was managed through a trust that had three main objectives, including: The move to preserve the manuscripts was motivated by their historical value and anticipated contribution to the re-writing of the African history from an African perspective, the Presidency said in a statement. Also present at the weekend’s ceremony were the South African ambassador to Mali, Mali Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Siby Ginette Bellegarde, the governor of the local region and the mayor of Timbuktu. Nepad cultural project South African Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane handed the new facility over to the Malian government in a ceremony held over the weekend. A total of 14 officials also received training in conservation at the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research. “The reality is that Timbuktu was the crossroad that linked sub-Saharan Africa to the cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East for millennia,” he said. “Timbuktu flourished as a place of scholarship with a university when Europe had only two universities.” Above all, Chabane said, the manuscripts of Timbuktu demonstrated conclusively that the myth propagated by colonisers, that Africans were ignorant and illiterate, was totally false. According to Chabane, colonial literature and discourse has always characterised Timbuktu as the world’s most remote place. ‘Place of scholarship’ “Africans proclaim these manuscripts as integral to their own culture, their own literary culture that records matters of faith, law, social arrangements, environment, sciences and medicine.” SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 31 May 2010 South African conservators led by the National Archives worked closely with the Tunisian government and provided training both in South Africa and Mali. In South Africa, training, mostly on preventive conservation, was provided to more than 10 Malian conservators. The project, adopted by the New Economic Partnership of Africa’s Development (Nepad) as its first cultural project, provided intervention measures to slow down the degradation of the manuscripts and encouraged active intellectual engagement emanating from research. South Africa has handed over a new library and archives building to house the ancient Mali manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research in the historic city of Timbuktu.last_img read more

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100 days to Women’s Rugby World Cup

first_img24 April 2014The countdown to the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France reached exactly 100 days for the Springbok Women on Wednesday. They face Australia in their opening pool match in Marcoussis.The Springbok Women will be appearing in their third successive World Cup, but have been handed a tough draw in Pool C. Apart from the Australians, they will also take on hosts France and Wales.The 39-member preliminary World Cup squad, which includes the 15 contracted Springbok Women’s Sevens players, have been hard at work since January preparing for the tournament.ConfidentCaptain Mandisa Williams said in a statement that she was confident this would pay off when her teams takes to the field in Marcoussis on 1 August.“This is an exciting time for the Springbok Women,” she said. “The fact that there are only 100 days to go to the World Cup has definitely sparked excitement among the players because we have been working very hard towards this goal. But I have no doubt that this will also trigger some nerves because we now have only a little over three months to complete our preparations and reach our peak form.”Williams added: “It is amazing how time flies. We began our preparations in January and all of the sudden there is a sense of urgency to make sure all the structures are in place and that players are as fit as can be. But we are excited about the tournament and we are optimistic that all the late nights at training and the weekend field sessions will pay off.”The Springbok Women will participate in the South African Rugby Union’s Women’s Interprovincial tournament for their respective provinces in the next two months, with the competition kicking off on Friday.Training campThe preliminary squad will then be reduced, with the players set to participate in a training camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria from 18 to 24 June before departing for Europe on 25 June for a Pre-World Cup tour.The tour will feature two clashes against the Nomads in London and a match against France.The clash against the French, who are the Women’s Six Nations champions, in particular, will be vital in the team’s preparations for what is expected to be their toughest pool clash at the World Cup, as it will give them an idea about what to expect from the hosts, while simultaneously allowing them to familiarise themselves with the country.‘Invaluable game time’“The pre-World Cup tour will be important in our preparation because it will offer us invaluable game time against quality opposition, while also exposing us to the playing conditions in Europe close to the World Cup,” Williams said.“We are also grateful that we will face France before the World Cup because there is no doubt they will enter the tournament as one of the favourites after winning the Women’s Six Nations competition and also since they will have the luxury of home ground advantage.”The women will reassemble in Stellenbosch on 14 July for their World Cup holding camp where the final touches will be made to their game plan for the showpiece, with the final 26-member World Cup squad departing for France on 27 July.Springbok Women 2014 WRWC Pool Fixtures 1 Aug: Springbok Women v Australia – Marcoussis5 Aug: Springbok Women v France – Marcoussis9 Aug: Springbok Women v Wales – Marcoussis SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Why Even “Simple” Technology Can Be Hard For Developers

first_imgTags:#Amazon AWS#Amazon Web Services#Anand Mani Sankar#AngularJS#Asya Kamsky#George Butiri#Matt Wood#NoSQL#Redshift#Web Development Convenience drives much of the world’s best technology, from Amazon Web Services to Web frameworks like AngularJS. But that “convenience”, which makes it easy to quickly become productive, often comes with a hidden price tag: to become truly productive, you’re going to have to sweat.Great technology is often deceptively simple, allowing newbies to intuitively “learn” the system without much effort. The problem comes when people assume they have mastered the technology when all they’ve really done is the equivalent of coding a “hello world” app. Before you blame the tool, you often need to invest time in learning to use it correctly.“Mixed Feelings” About AngularJSLet’s take AngularJS as an example. Angular is a Web application framework—a collection of JavaScript code libraries, templates and other software intended to make it easier for developers to build dynamic Web pages or Web apps.See also: Angular, Ember, And Backbone: Which JavaScript Framework Is Right For You?The problem, as Anand Mani Sankar suggests, is that while it’s simple to start with AngularJS, that simplicity belies the power of the framework:[AngularJS] also simplifies the application development process by abstracting a lot of the internal complexity and exposing only what the application developer needs to know.While this sounds like a great thing, it can also lead newbies to think that they’ve mastered the system upon completing their first “hello world” app:The AngularJS journey can evoke mixed feelings. The learning curve is very different from other JS frameworks. The initial barrier to get started is very low. But once you start diving deep the learning curve suddenly becomes steep.Sankar then points to Ben Nadel’s humorous depiction of an AngularJS journey:Some people, of course, get stuck in the troughs. George Butiri, for example, gets a lot of Google search love with his “The reason Angular JS will fail” post. Butiri argues that AngularJS is actually quite difficult, without giving much in the way of specific examples of why this is so, at least beyond “because I like jQuery more.”It’s So Easy To Fail Much of the best technology is like this. It’s deceptively simple to get started, but if you want to truly master it, you’re going to have to make a big investment of your time. Some people start strong, discover the complexity, and then complain that technology doesn’t remain mind-blowingly easy forever and ever.Sorry, real technology doesn’t work that way. It always requires effort and will fail if not applied in the right way.Take NoSQL databases, the world in which I spend most of my time.See also: When NoSQL Databases Are—Yes—Good For YouNewbies to NoSQL, whether MongoDB, HBase or Cassandra, like to tout its schema-less nature. The old world of relational databases required a rigid schema but HURRAY! In this new world of NoSQL, gone are schemas that define your data’s structure, gone are DBAs, GONE ARE RULES! So easy!!Which, of course, is complete nonsense. As my colleague Asya Kamsky likes to say, “NoSQL != NoDBA.” (That is, NoSQL is not the same as “no database administrator.”) NoSQL does not mean “no DBA”. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise, they probably have something to sell you.This does not mean that you have a team or even a person who has the title “DBA”—however, if you have a database, whether it’s relational, or non-relational, then someone has the role of “DBA”—and if they don’t know that they do, then a whole bunch of things aren’t being done or thought about before problems happen.Go through the hater posts about NoSQL databases or AngularJS or most any technology you prefer and I guarantee many, if not most, of them are written by people who feel cheated that the technology didn’t fit how the user wanted it to work, often with minimal to no real investment. Sure, sometimes technology fails. At times, spectacularly.But far too often we complain when technology doesn’t magically remove our need to work.Fewer Levers, More Happiness?One way to get the best of both worlds is through managed services like Amazon Web Services’ Redshift. Redshift is a fully-managed data warehouse that runs in the cloud. “Fully managed” means that it’s easier to use, but it also means that users lose some of the knobs and levers they might have in Teradata or another enterprise data warehouse.That, however, is precisely the point.As Matt Wood, general manager of data science at AWS, told me recently, Redshift and other AWS services aim to improve ease-of-use for users by removing complexity. Giving users fewer “levers” means that AWS also gives them fewer ways to fail. The trick, of course, is finding the balance between product simplicity and user control.Airbnb, for example, was elated by how easy Redshift was to begin with, but then required some trade-offs (and investments):The first challenge we had was schema migration. Even though Redshift is based on Postgres 8.0, the “subtle” differences are big enough, forcing you into the Redshift way of doing things. We tried to automate the schema migration, but the problem was bigger than we originally expected and we decided it was beyond the scope of our experiment. Indexes, timestamp type, and arrays are not supported in Redshift, thus you need to either get rid of them in your schema or find a workaround.Having put in the effort, however, Airbnb saw a minimum of 5x performance improvements over other systems and dramatic cost savings. Easy to get started, but also worth continuing to invest.And so it is with a lot of great software that is deceptively simple to use. To get beyond newbie status with any great technology, you’re going to have to use it as intended, and you’re going to have to spend the time and effort to master it. There may be free software, but there’s no free lunch.Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock; AngularJS graph by Ben Nadel How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Matt Asay Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

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Nuclear blasts shed light on how animals recover from annihilation

first_imgIn the late 1960s and early 1970s, France detonated four nuclear bombs on the Fangataufa atoll—a ring-shaped island of coral in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The detonations—the largest, a hundred times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki—destroyed just about all life in the region, setting up an “unthinkable” ecological experiment: If life had to start fresh, would it develop the same way again? A new study of the aftermath of the blasts suggests it would not.That conclusion comes thanks to more than 25 years of observations of Fangataufa. The nuclear blasts annihilated much of the vegetation on the island and many aquatic species as well, but the scientists focused on mollusks because of their longevity and stationary nature. “They stay where they are,” says Pierre Legendre, a community ecologist at the Université de Montréal in Canada, and the study’s lead author. “They are long-lived so we can expect that over a year the same mollusk that sits on the reef today will still be there 3, 4, 5, 10 years from today.”Over the course of the study, the researchers used a rope ladder to divide three separate reefs around the atoll into 6-square-meter segments. They then counted all mollusks (except for tubeworms and snails) in the segments five times between 1972 and 1997. The team compared these recovering communities with observations made in 1968 before the largest nuclear tests.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Overall, the communities that have developed since the final nuclear test are considerably different from the original populations, the team reports online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. On all the reefs, species richness either stayed the same or increased, meaning there were more types of mollusks in a given area following the blasts. Additionally, the overall composition of species changed significantly; carnivorous mollusks appeared to fare particularly well, increasing in prevalence at all sites, while their herbivorous relatives often decreased in abundance. There was one area of the reef that regrew a population very similar to the one killed off by the bombs. The supralittoral zone, which is submerged at high tide but exposed at low tide, closely resembled the prenuclear assemblages. However, this may be because only two or three mollusk species are able to brave the harsh conditions there, and all of them happened to find their way back to the open habitat.   Legendre and his colleague conclude that the new communities appear to have emerged largely as a result of chance. Many mollusk species reproduce by ejecting larvae, which can float hundreds of miles in the ocean’s currents before coming to rest. When the Fangataufa atoll populations were decimated by the nuclear bombs, it opened up a new habitat to colonize for the free floating larvae, but which species happened to land on the reef is mostly a matter of luck.The idea that an organism’s success in an environment might be a matter of chance has been heavily debated by scientists recently, says community ecologist Stephen Hubbell of the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study. “On the face of it, certainly [the results] are consistent it, but it doesn’t in my opinion prove it. It isn’t a slam dunk.”Hubbell points out that while shifting winds and swirling tides do introduce an element or randomness, mollusk larva dispersal does follow seasonal patterns, which have been shown to influence community makeup in previous studies. “It’s not entirely random. It’s not as if every species has an equal chance of colonizing,” adds Terry Hughes, a coral reef ecologist at James Cook University, Townsville, in Australia.Whether the population might one day revert back to its original structure is also up for debate. It’s been more than 40 years since the last explosion on the island, but the mollusk communities appear to still be in flux. Legendre’s results show that many of the populations changed dramatically between 1987 and 1997, but he doesn’t think there’s much chance that they will ever revert back to their pre-explosion states: “If you evolve a community that it is different, then it has its own inertia.” He thinks the only way to recapture the original structure is to completely wipe out the new mollusks and reroll the dice again. Hughes is less sure though and says it’s still too early to tell. “It hasn’t stabilized,” he says.last_img read more

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